Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Isadora Duncan by Sabrina Jones

Tagging my blog posts gives me interesting information about my reading habits, even though I don't write about every single book I read. I hadn't realized, for example, how frequently I choose biography/autobiography/memoir until I glanced at the tag list today. Out of 172 posts (over the course of a year), 26 have fallen into this category. Only seven out of these books, however, are in standard prose; the rest are either in comics format, picture books, or written in verse.

Which brings me to Isadora Duncan: A Graphic Biography, written and illustrated by Sabrina Jones. Jones writes, "I'm asking a generation in flip-flops to imagine how traffic stopped when Isadora strolled down 5th Avenue in her homemade sandals." 100 years ago, "Ladies in ankle boots twittered about 'the barefoot dancer.' Audiences were astonished that her naked legs could look so pure." Duncan is considered by many to be the mother of modern dance. She was born in San Francisco in 1877 and had little formal schooling. Her improvisational style of expressive dance movement was inspired by nature and by the art on the pottery of ancient Greece. She performed uncorseted in Grecian-style tunics and clingy scarves.

Although there are no films of Duncan dancing, many photos and drawings exist that Jones used to create the artwork for this book. The era comes to life as does Duncan's tumultuous and passionate private life. Grade 9 - adult.

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